Medicare Annual Open Enrollment

Anyone on Medicare who has either a Medicare Advantage plan or a stand-alone Medicare Part D Rx plan should compare and review the plans available to them every year during open-enrollment which runs from October 15 to December 7.  Both types of plans can change quite dramatically from year to year.

Medicare Part D Rx … The companies offering Medicare Part D Rx plans can change the plan deductible amounts, move common drugs to a higher tier level, causing higher out-of-pocket amounts, and of course increase the plan monthly premiums.

Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO plans … also change from year to year. Deductibles, premiums, drug formulary lists and many other parts of the plan benefit outline.

Sometimes the change is incremental and you may not notice much the first year or two,  But after a few years of change the plan may not even resemble the plan you originally enrolled in. Other times the change is quite drastic and you will feel the difference immediately.  Feel free to contact me during open enrollment, I’ll be happy to give you the updated information and inform you of the changes.

All plan changes during open enrollment will take effect on January.

The changes are guaranteed and not subject to medical review.  If you are on Medicare A and B and live in the county where the plan is available, you are eligible for coverage.

Most companies disclose the changes and plan outlines for the following year on or near October 1.  This is a good time to look at your current plan and company along with the other available choices in your county.

County specific … Medicare Advantage and Part D plans are typically County specific.  Meaning you must live in the County where the plan is available.  There may be plans in the adjoining county but are not available to you, or you may have access to good plans but your county neighbors don’t.

Medicare Supplement plans on the other hand are available to anyone in the State where the plan is offered.  They also do NOT have annual open enrollment periods, but can be applied to anytime of the year as long as you answer the health questions on the enrollment forms.  If you are new to Medicare you have a 6 month initial open enrollment period to enroll regardless of health status.  And if coming off of an employer group health plan you have two months to enroll … guaranteed.

Travel Insurance … Medicare does not provide coverage outside the U.S.  My advice is to enroll in a simple Travel Insurance plan which travel with you worldwide and provides comprehensive hospital, doctor, Rx and emergency evacuation coverage.

Questions?  Call or email anytime.

John Conner

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Author: John

Medicare Options along with Individual and Group International Medical Insurance Options.

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